Sunday is the most strenuous day of my vocation. I’m pretty sure that most folks have figured out that it is not the only day I work, though I do know that folks wonder what I do during the week. (Wondering what I do during the week does not equal thinking that I don’t work. Let’s give our people more credit than that.)
Sunday is the day that I lead worship, see the majority of my congregation and preach the sermon I have prepared (and sometimes the sermon that the Spirit gives me). I share the liturgy that I have provided for the gathered people to come together with one voice and praise God. I share Sacraments and song and space for silence.
And after worship is done at my second church, I go home and collapse. I am utterly spent by noon on Sunday. There is something about the way that the power of God moves through me and in spite of me that wrings every bit of energy from me. I know that part of it is that I am “ON” for over three hours; I use nearly all of my energy as I lead and serve.
In the mornings before I leave, my husband and I do a short liturgy of Morning Prayer from Common Prayer. He is the pastor of another church; he has his own congregation to lead and serve. Our time together before we leave to go lead our respective churches in worship guides us as we continue to grow together.
We commission each other after the benediction with the sign of the cross on each other’s foreheads, and in that instant, we have both an intimate moment and an explicit act of grace. I come to my churches covered with the sign of the cross, reminded of the work to which God calls me.
Things can go wrong during worship, technical difficulties may happen, questions and concerns may be raised, but I have been marked with the sign of the cross and I have been called by God and I am able to continue to lead worship for God’s people.
And after worship, when I have collapsed on the couch exhausted and worn out, I know that I worshiped, and I helped others to worship as well. A nap is usually in the plans, as well as watching last night’s Saturday Night Live, or reading a book. Sometimes I have to gear myself back up to go out again, and I am able to do that, knowing that I will be able to sleep well that night.
Other days of the week are full of work, visiting and planning for the upcoming Sunday, but Sunday uses all of me.